The Basics of Roofing for Home Owners
Roofing is a type of roof construction that has distinct footing features and layers. The type of roofing to install onto your house depends on several roofing factors such as your location, your budget, purpose, your preference of shape and material, and weather or climate.
Types of Roofing according to material
There are several roofing materials that you can choose from. Each has their own advantage and disadvantage so be mindful of the above factors when choosing.
- Wooden Shingles – most energy efficient type because they provide more insulation. It also has a range of color and textures. But wood shingles require maintenance because they are susceptible to insect burrows, mold and rotting.
- Asphalt Shingles – are the most common because they are affordable. They come in different colors, are durable, and highly adaptable to climate.
- Shakes and Shingles/Clay – most popular in hot and dry areas because of their fire repellent properties. They are also impervious to insects and rotting and have a long life span. But these roofs are heavy. They are also limited in variety, fragile, and costly especially when it comes to repairs and upgrades.
- Metal – these are energy efficient because they reflect the heat towards the surroundings. They are very durable and often from recycled materials. But when installing this, you also need to provide proper insulation. They also become fragile when exposed to extreme cold weather. They are expensive and require professionals to install and repair them.
Other Types of Roofing
Pitch or the slope of the roof varies depending on your preference mostly. It can be steep or low-pitched or even flat. When installing low-pitched or flat roofs, be sure it is impermeable or weather proof. For steep slopes, it is important to note water shedding properties.
Green roofs are popular now especially in urbanized areas where the roof is the only space you can plant on. They also keep the roof and the surrounding area cool as well as keep the living space inside dry. Just be sure that they have proper drainage and waterproofing because they tend to collect more rain water.
What is a flat roof?
A flat roof is a type of roof construction very different to roofing. They don’t have slopes and require different types of material and construction all together. This is the most cost-efficient in terms of shape. It also provides additional living space. But flat roofs require heavy maintenance and proper installation. Flat roof leaks are very hard to detect because of the layers of protective membranes beneath. Flat roof leaks don’t always reach the living space inside but have already done massive damage to the building.
Do it yourself maintenance
A house with a leaking roof is uncomfortable and uninhabitable. Leaking roofs cause water damage inside your homes which may cause damage to the structural integrity of your house. In order to keep your roofing in shape and help them last long, you have to do the following regularly depending on your weather and type of material of your roofing. These tips also help you save costs of having to repair your roof often.
- Keep your roof free of biodegradable materials. They tend to accumulate moisture that can cause mold, mildews and rotting.
- Big obstructions divert water flow to places water shouldn’t be which may cause leaking and damage to your building.
- Check joints to see if they are free of cracks or not worn out. Also inspect for corrosion or weakening along the seams. The roof leaks, maybe due to weak seams and poor jointing.
- Replace damaged ones immediately to avoid major repairs in the future. A small dent or hole can lead to a breach that can harm the underlying layers and insulation as well.
- Shrinkage is also a common problem. Roofing tiles tend to shrink due to temperature fluctuations and water absorption. Account for it when installing your roofs.
Over time, your roofing degrades and will need major roof repairs. Some can be done on your own but it is better to seek professional help just to be sure. Roof replacement is a type of roof repair that cost much but is very advantageous. This is best when a number of damage is scattered over a large portion of your roof. Take into account the age of your roof as well. Replacing single or a few pieces of roofing can be done immediately and without professional help. Partial roof replacement is when the damage is centered on a small portion of the roof.
If you’re planning to tear down the house or completely rebuild it, better not opt for replacing the roof. Roof restoration is the type of roof repair that uses highly-engineered coating to restore the roof to mint conditions. Since replacement is very costly, restoration is an affordable option. It is also sustainable because it can be re-applied once the coating has thinned. Roof recovery is another type of roof repair where in a new set of roof is laid over the old one. This can be done when the damage external and the underlying layers or membranes are still usable. This type of roof repair is not always a viable option or a long term solution.
When do you determine if the job requires professional help?
Roof repairs require a great amount of effort, risk and time that most people don’t have. But some repairs could be done on your own to save money. Assess the damage first before doing anything else, a Leaking roof may be caused by minor damage which can be patched by sealants. Single tile or minimal tile damage can also be done on your own. But if you think the damage needs a major roof repair or if the roof is still leaking after you have made minor repairs or if you don’t have the knowledge or equipment available, then it is time to call in the professionals.